Good (victorious) morning, MLHS.
I’m still pretty excited about that second Kadri goal last night (he called it maybe the nicest he’s ever scored). His ninth point in his last seven games, it was a culmination of a good 200-foot sequence by the centerman: Kadri won the defensive zone draw before the puck worked its way around to Kulemin on the far wall. Kadri supported puck, dug it out, handed it off to Gunnarsson, and took off up the ice. Gunnarsson laid in a soft chip into a retrievable area down the left side for Lupul, who found Kadri, as he did all game, driving into the slot. Kadri turned Hedman inside out and deked past Bishop in one fluid movement. Poetry.
Speaking of the defensive zone draw win, Nazem won seven of seven last night and went 63% on the dot overall. If we take it back to a month ago today – back to the December 29th win over Carolina – Nazem Kadri has won 109 draws and lost 98 in the last fifteen games (53%). In his previous 36 games this season, Kadri won 220 and lost 307 (42%). Has something clicked?
If we drop the Dallas game, the Leafs have been making a collection of the best goalies in the game look pretty ordinary of late during this hot stretch: 24 goals total in six games against Rask, Miller, Price, Smith, Varlamov, and Bishop. That’s the offensive capacity of this team, in my eyes. Seeing the top line fly and the Kadri, Kulemin and Lupul trio offer a secondary threat is bringing back memories of last season’s sixth-best offense (league wide). The third line had its moments last night as well, but a piece like Bolland coming back and slotting in on line three could give this team the depth we’ve been pining for. The defense will probably never stop scaring us until its youngins have time to mature and management makes some improvements, but at least there seems to be a little more stability back there – provided Gleason is OK – and of course Bernier’s been there to clean up mess after mess.
Onto the links…
Jonas Siegel’s post game report
Touches on JvR’s career highs among other things.
Who knew the Lupul, Kadri and Kulemin line was smart?
Stats speak for themselves.
Kadri shines as Leafs cool off surging Lightning
Be nice to see Kadri hit 20 this year after all the huffing and puffing. He’s a playmaker first, but 6 in 26 is doable.
Tim Gleason’s injury isn’t serious according to Carlyle
Looked like it at the time.
Morgan Rielly: after a Leaf win against Tampa, the ceiling looks awfully high…
From Michael at VLM.
Here’s a list of Jonathan Bernier’s games sorted by shots against
That’s a lot of wins with 35 or more saves.
Dave Poulin talks trade deadline, state of the team
Transcription of Poulin’s interview on the radio yesterday.
Hey guys, anyone else on an iPad here getting auto redirected to the App Store to buy games when refreshing this page? It's a new thing and pretty frustrating
Listen to Mike Johnson chirp Martin St. Louis for "missing the target" on that save Bernier made last night. He couldn't carry St. Louis' dirty laundry to the cleaners.
How many NHL teams have really hit a UFA signing out of the park since the cap came into effect?
The Ducks landed Niedermayer.
The Bruins snagged Chara.
The Hawks eventually got Hossa.
The Wild obviously with Parise and Suter.
Has anyone else actually changed their franchise's fortunes with a big UFA signing. Pretty much all the rest of them were duds as far as I can remember. Or they were good signings but not as impacting as expected/hoped.
Tavares and Kadri got along pretty well both on and off the ice when Tavares came to London. If the Leafs ever traded for Tavares before he hits UFA, it would likely be Kadri ++ going back the other way. I know they're both centers now but I'd love to seem them play together again.
Should be interesting to see what our Bottom 6 looks like next year. Bunch of UFAs and a few guys who can't cut it could equal some interesting changes
I told the guys about it the other day. Same thing with me. It's the War Games ad on this page that is doing it. Alec said he was going to try to fix it but he said it might take some time. I don't even have to touch my screen, it just jumps to iTunes as MLHS page is loading.
@ConnorCrisp yup, me too
@ingy56 It was a great save, but St.Louis did botch the shot. He put his head down in disbelief because he didn't get it high enough.
Most good ones are ancient history now. Fewer and fewer real difference makers get to that point anymore, and because there are so few most UFA's are wildly overpaid in the frenzy.
@Cameron19 Seems like the trend now is to lock down your star players. Anything out there asking big money should be marked "buyer beware".
@Knights2Leafs agreed get them both
@Knights2Leafs They will next olympics
@DeclanK Huh, no AA eh.
just Girardi but I'd wait for him to hit UFA.
@Burtonboy I hope he lays off the star power with the Leafs and concentrates on building a team instead. Bringing in big names hasn't worked in this market for any of the big three franchises. Build a proper team and the big names will arise out of that team concept.
@Burtonboy KING JAMES IS COMING!!!
@BurtonboyMake cap related changes in advance of the offseason, then go for the right big name. Im sure Nonis is leaning on Lewlickys rep to draw interest from FAs.
Yeah, it's just that Tavares and Kadri were magic together.
I say if that dbag Versteeg can make it the NHL, then Brown's good a great chance.
@Burtonboy @ingy56 I only caught the last bit of it. If that's the case I'm happy. The game doesn't need to be sold in this market (hockey I mean) so developing players is the best route to building a team that will compete for championships year in and year out. They are on that path now thankfully.
@Bon Scott was a Leaf fan @Cameron19 @wiski @Burtonboy Because the Islanders are a joke of a franchise with terrible ownership and worse management. He's going from the most embarrassing building in pro sports to a building that wasn't designed to feature hockey. And more than that, he just doesn't strike me as someone terribly happy to be in New York. I'm reminded of a couple of summers ago when the Islanders held a fan and media event of some kind, and Tavares was absent because he was doing something in Toronto.
Stamkos on the other hand has Yzerman talking in his ear, Marty St.Louis working him, and a tax free paycheck with no pressure whatsoever...Ownership has stabilized by the looks of things, and the team is on the rise.
@Burtonboy @Cameron19 @peterbleafs Well, I don't know how the NBA's cap works in comparison to the NHL, but loyalty aside, there isn't much incentive to go to market in the NHL if you're a big star. You get a year less on your deal guaranteed, and no one can really realistically offer you more than your current team anyways....